Rolling in the Deep is a song recorded by British singer-songwriter Adele for her second studio album, 21. The song was written by Adele and Paul Epworth, who described it as a dark blues-y gospel disco tune. The largest crossover hit in the United States from the past 25 years, Rolling in the Deep gained radio airplay from many different radio formats. It was first released on 29 November 2010 as the lead single of the album in digital download format. The lyrics describe the emotions of a scorned lover.
Rolling in the Deep was acclaimed by music critics and represented a commercial breakthrough for Adele, propelling her to international success. The song reached number one in 11 countries and the top five in many more regions. It was Adeles first number-one song in the United States, reaching the top spot on many Billboard charts, including the Billboard Hot 100 where it was number one for seven weeks. By February 2012, Rolling in the Deep had sold over 7,000,000 copies in the United States, making it the highest selling digital song by a female artist in the US, the second best-selling digital song in the US and Adeles best-selling single outside her native country, topping her previous best-selling Chasing Pavements. Worldwide, it was the fifth best selling digital single of 2011 with sales of 8.2 million copies. The song spent 65 weeks on the chart, making the song the third most weeks spent on the chart, tying the place with Jewel with her double single Foolish Games/You Were Meant for Me.
In July, the video was nominated for seven MTV Video Music Awards nominations, making it the most nominated music video of the year. The video won three awards: Best Editing, Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction. Rolling in the Deep was also the Billboard Year End Hot 100 Number One Single of 2011. On 12 February 2012, Rolling in the Deep received three Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Short Form Music Video. Critics and music publications ranked the song highly on their end-of-year lists. The song is the first number one by British female artist since 2008s Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis on Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Rolling in the Deep is the fourth song to top the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles chart and to win both Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Song of the Year in the same year, after Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel in 1970/1971, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Roberta Flack in 1972/1973, and Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes in 1981/1982.
Background and composition
In an interview Adkins expressed her initial reservations prior to meeting with Epworth due to their divergent musical styles, but characterised their collaboration as a match made in heaven. She also credited Epworth for her increased vocal confidence, stating, He brought a lot out of me. He brought my voice out as welltheres notes that I hit in that song [Rolling in the Deep] that I never even knew I could hit. According to reviewer Bill Lamb, Rolling in the Deep features martial beats, pounding piano keys and chanting backing singers. Adeles vocals have been described as having a hint of Wanda Jacksons dirty-blues growl. According to Nadine Cheung from AOL Radio Blog the song is sung from the perspective of a scorned lover, who is finally able to see the light, but despite regretful sentiments, reconciliation is not an option here. Rolling in the Deep is written in the key of C minor, in common time with an approximate tempo of 105 beats per minute. The accompaniment uses open fifths, in a progression of C5-G5-B♭5G5-B♭5. Adeles voice spans from B♭3 to D5, the highest note sung using the head voice.
The song was reportedly inspired by a Nashville-schooled US tour bus driver, and composed by Epworth and Adkins in a single afternoon following Adkins breakup with her boyfriend.
The music video for Rolling in the Deep, directed by Sam Brown, premiered on Channel 4 on 3 December 2010. The video begins in an abandoned house, where Adele is sitting in a chair singing. During the video, the scenes show hundreds of glasses filled with water that vibrate to the beat of a drum, a mysterious person (played by Jennifer White, who also choreographed the sequence) dancing in a room with white flour and dust, the drummer playing the drums behind the stairs, china being thrown and breaking on the wall in front of the staircase, and a white model of a city which is set on fire by five bursting light bulbs at the end of the song.
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